Alibaba is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.
But on Monday the Chinese e-commerce giant was being blamed for the drop in the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which was down as much as 1.2% on Monday afternoon.
Rich Barry, floor governor at the New York Stock Exchange, wrote in his afternoon commentary on Monday:
“Strange moves in the market today, and some astute market-watchers are attributing the moves to the anticipation of this Friday’s ginormous Alibaba IPO… While financial and energy stocks are giving a little boost to the Dow today, the pressure on the tech sector, in particular, is striking… We made some calls to our people at various trading desks and the best reason we got for the divergence came from one seasoned vet: ‘Nasdaq Comp, Social Media and China based ETFs are over three times weaker than Dow, S&P, etc. That leads some of our analysts to suspect that at least a good portion of this action is a kind of pre-Alibaba setup — pruning some competitive exposure and/or raising funds for the IPO.'”
Apple, the Nasdaq’s largest component, was flat in afternoon trade on Monday, but Google was down 1%, and the pain was really being felt in trendy tech names like Twitter, Yelp, FireEye, and LinkedIn, which were all down more than 6.5% in afternoon trade.
Elon Musk’s Tesla and Solar City were also down more than 8.5%.
We’re still three full trading days away from Alibaba’s expected pricing on Thursday night, but reports have suggested that the $US60-$66 per share range could be increased due to excess demand for Alibaba’s IPO.
Regarding Monday’s move in the Nasdaq, Barry was left saying, “Makes sense to us.”